December 27, 2014

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 76

So - in light of how this is smack dab in the middle of Christmas and New Years - this is a lighter edition... because, really - even if you aren't quite wanting to anymore, you probably have family to hang out with this weekend! 

Featured today are posts by Deidra Riggs, Aliza Latta, Jon Acuff, Colleen Mitchell, my guest post over at Jennifer Lee's, a post from right here... and - of course - a video!

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names to read their whole posts, yes?)

This post by Deidra Riggs with The World Has Slipped a Disc...
"Transformation is the byproduct of Advent. We see the wrong in what we’ve called right and we set our hearts in a different direction, the one that makes a weary world rejoice. And we are weary, aren’t we? Or, maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m the only whose inner resolve has dissolved and gone limp and surrendered to the truth that Jesus came to earth because we needed him to. We still do.

Need him."

* This post by Aliza Latta with A benediction for the week of Christmas...

"...May we believe in Your enough-ness when we don't feel enough ourselves..."

* This post from Jon Acuff with The gift everyone wants this Christmas... (It's not too late!)
"Our phones make all of us on call like doctors only we don’t get paid like doctors. (And be honest, no one dies if you don’t answer a call.)

If you work for yourself, if you work for a big company, or if you’re out of work I know exactly what everyone in your life wants for Christmas this year – your presence..."

* This one by Colleen Mitchell with When Christmas Is the Thing That Stays Done...
"It can be exhausting to be faced with the constant round of needs to be done…again.

Sometimes our spiritual lives can feel a lot like that too, can’t they? We work so hard to grow, to overcome a certain fault, to draw near to Him. And then tomorrow, we rise to fight temptation again, to battle back the waves of doubt or the heavy questions that keep us at arm’s distance from our God.

It can feel so exhausting sometimes.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished the same thing for my heart as I have wished for my home: “I wish something I do would just stay done for a while.”

I think the heart of that wish really speaks a deeper longing though. It says less about me and more about what I am begging of God.

I wish you would just stay near. I wish you would love me so I could feel it. I wish I could see your hand at work right now. I wish you would move mountains for me today. I wish you would grant the desires of my heart this minute.

When I find this longing creeping up on me, this feeling that God should be doing more for me, I often go back to the pages of my prayer journal and scan through the list of gifts I have counted, all the ways I have noted him loving me.

And then I see that He is present. And that no matter what I feel today, He has loved me. So well. And that can never, ever be undone.

My life is not just another load of dirty laundry. My life is a love letter from my Savior."

* I was honored to be hanging out with Jennifer Dukes Lee this week, talking about Love Idols and how, especially at Christmas time, we need to be reminded that we are #PreApproved! (My guest post: Tis the Season...
" We can be fully convinced of God’s incredible love for us, but still feel like we’re not enough.  And if ever there was a season when that message is repeated over and over, it’s now – during the holidays! We battle the feelings of Not Enough at every turn.  We fight feelings of comparison and competition and keeping up with the Joneses. It can leave us feeling less than, over-worked, under-appreciated, and stressed.

We can feel like we must keep on keepin’ on just to get through the holidays. It’s ok. I know. I’ve hunkered down and pushed through plenty of times myself. It’s survival mode and January promises quiet, even if it is accompanied with exhaustion.

Can I offer you something different this year instead?  Can I urge you to lay down your idols?  Let’s remember that Christmas is less about the chaos and all about the Christ.  Let’s lay down the Love Idols that vie for our attention and devotion, and lift up the Love Author, who is the only One worthy of all our praise!

In refocusing on Him, He calls us to more!"

* This one from right HERE with When Holiday Cheer Is Lacking But You Don't Want To Just Be Going Through The Motions...
"found myself wondering what I am chained to... what is holding me back right now in this season? I know I have been set free... but aren't we all really looking for needing to learn more verses for our freedom song? It seems there are always parts where we're not yet singing an unchained melody.

I was telling the Lord how this Christmas, this Advent, has been harder, quieter, and I have fought off the feelings of just going through the motions!  Oh I know... I know the dangers of that and I refuse to do it. When I am numb and doing things merely out of habit or tradition, I am left feeling empty and alone, instead of filled and full of joy.

But this Christmas has yet to feel very Christmasy for me.

I keep waiting... anticipating.

For I know Advent.  I know that He is always coming for us!

I find when I feel I am simply going through the motions that I am most often running from Him.

Not on purpose... not consciously anyway.
No, it's that I tire of waiting.

I know Advent and I read of the 400 years of silence, and my heart can't take another ten minutes and I know that I am weak but before I know what is happening, I take back the time I set aside for Him because in all the waiting, it can feel like nothing is getting done."

Lastly, we like to wrap This Thing up with  a video... because that's how it's done! I blame Shauna Niequist for this one... she mentioned it on facebook earlier this week and now, (a new empty nester!) - I can't quit hitting replay... and crying... whatev's

It's not a 'new' video or song,
but it was new to me so

Praying for each of you... I  hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that more than any gift, The Gift showed up and you unwrapped Him in glances and cuddles and all things joyful.  Praying for this New Year fast approaching... may it, also, be wonder-filled!
Happy Weekend, my friends!

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